Three weeks ago, actor Boris Kodjoe’s fingers got a little loose on Twitter. “Had nightmares thought about 300-pound women in thongs gnawing on chicken wings while grinding on me. Scary. Gotta Love North Carolina.”
He did a quick save when his plus-sized followers asked what exactly he was trying to say.
“Just to make it clear. I love all women,” Kodjoe added. “As a community we have to be more conscious of our health. The numbers are shocking.”
Kodjoe went on to cite stats such as 4 out of 5 African-American women are overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Department of Minority Health. And then he added a list of #fatexcuses that people use to avoid hitting the gym: I don’t have time, it’s boring and I like fried foods.
Being an unlikely spokesman for this topic, Kodjoe took some flack for his comments; especially from those who believed his concern for Black women’s health was disingenuous. That’s probably accurate, but I’m inclined to separate the messenger from the message. Boris may not have been the best person to say it, but it needed to be said.
Curvy. Juicy. Thick. Fluffy. Full-figured. Some meat on her bones and whole lotta’ woman! These are the euphemisms too many of us have been using to delude ourselves out of accepting the truth: ladies, a lot of us are fat!
According to a study on women’s health conducted by Aetna Insurance, 60% of Black women are physically inactive. And the Centers for Disease Control reports that 82% of African-American women over 40 are overweight or obese.
And I know, I know, just because you’re thin doesn’t mean you’re healthy and big women can be healthy too. I hear ya, Sister! These studies may be using a bar that does not take into account the uniqueness of some Black women’s bodies, but that wouldn’t exempt everyone. As long as you’re doing some form of physical exercise almost daily (although daily is recommended), I’m going to give you low-fat, small portion brownie points.
But 60% of Black women are inactive… that means most of us are not exercising and may be killing ourselves, and setting a terrible example.
So are we doing our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, cousins and little sisters a disservice by telling them that what they look like on the outside doesn’t matter?!?! And how do we change our thinking, and theirs??